Quotation by Wolcott H. Gibbs

The death of John Barrymore made us think again for a minute of F. Scott Fitzgerald. They were very different men: a lot alike. Undoubtedly, they both worked hard, but there was the same sense of a difficult technique easily mastered (too easily perhaps); there was the same legend of great physical magnetism, working incessantly for its own destruction; there was the same need for public confession, either desperate or sardonic; and there was always a good deal of time wasted, usually accompanied by the sweet smell of grapes. We have seen Scott Fitzgerald when everything he said was a childish parody of his own talent, and the last time we saw John Barrymore he was busy with a sick and humiliating parody of his. The similarity probably ends there. Up to the day he died, we believe, Fitzgerald still kept his original and eager devotion to his profession, along, we like to think, with the strict confidence that he might still achieve the strict perfection that was so often almost his. Barrymore, on the other hand, had given up long ago.
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